I arrived in LAX around noon and as soon as I was in a cab I was on Google in search of a location for lunch.  I had held out on the Delta cheese and fruit platter because I knew there would be something far more enticing in Los Angeles.  After a little issue with the taxi cab credit card machine (lesson to all while traveling: carry cash), I was free to go about my day.  James, the Loews Hollywood VIP Manager, handed me my 2-day itinerary and pointed me in the right direction of my first stop: The Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

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I tried to contain my growling stomach and headed a mile down Hollywood Boulevard to the famed theatre.  As I walked, I took note of potential restaurant options for post-theatre tour.  Then Skooby’s caught my eye.  It appeared to be a little hole in the wall where there had been a theater of sorts in year’s past.  The menu consisted of hot dogs, fries, and lemonade.  The perfect trifecta in my book!  As I continued towards the theater, I looked at Skooby’s Yelp reviews and they were quite favorable.  I also noticed there were plenty of comparisons with Pink’s, another famous hot dog eatery in the city.  New York is inundated with burger spots at this point, but I can’t say that hot dogs have really had their time in the spotlight.  Street cart dogs do not count as a ‘shining moment’.  Perhaps NYC doesn’t want to step on Chicago’s territory, but I’m happy to report that Los Angeles was clearly up for the dog challenge.

As I met Benny at the Pantages, he mentioned we would have to keep the tour brief as The Wizard of Oz was setting up shop in the back for their debut the following night and he had chicken tenders waiting for him at his desk.  Perfect, no complaints here.  Within thirty minutes I was back on Hollywood Boulevard tracing my steps back to Skooby ‘s.  Despite being tempted by the hot dogs with more involved toppings, I went with a basic hot dog, garlic fries, and a lemonade.  The garlic fries were a bold call for me, but as I surveyed the trays of those eating outside at Skooby’s counter, it seemed like that was the only way to go.

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A few days later I was at Universal Studios Hollywood for the afternoon.  After my initial few rides, I decided I desperately needed to eat in order to fully enjoy any future 3-D or 4-D simulation attractions.  I started to open the theme park map while walking towards the Studio Tour and I looked up to find none other than Pink’s right in front of me.   Although it wasn’t the original location, I thought it would be representative enough to conduct my very own hot dog showdown.  Pink’s has a lot to live up to…

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Thankfully I was at Pink’s just before the large crowd developed a long line to place their orders.  In contrast, there were only two women in front of me placing orders when I popped in line which gave me just enough time to evaluate the menu and consider what I was in the mood for.  I had a naked dog that I added ketchup and mustard to, as well as delicious crispy fries paired with a cheese dipping sauce.  I found a seat in the courtyard directly next to Pink’s to enjoy my lunch in between attractions.  Similar to the Skooby’s experience, I decided to start with the side dish and devoured several perfectly prepared french fries.

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While both dogs  exceeded expectations, the Hawaiian bun gave Skooby’s a slight advantage in my book.  Not surprising to anyone who knows me fairly well, I preferred Pink’s fries due to cheese dipping sauce.  If it was up to me I would have registered for a nacho cheese dispenser for my wedding, so the more items I can dip cheese into the better.  Aside from my bizarre dairy quirks, I also thought Pink’s created the superior fry.  Looks like it’s a cat’s game in the City of Angels (and hot dogs)!

I look forward to returning to both establishments with a Chicago native to hear how she thinks L.A. hot dogs stack up against the Nation’s greatest dogs!  Or so she tells me…

Loews Hotels & Co.